Third Comintern congress resolutions

Appeal for Max Hoelz[1]

Source: Published in To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921 (, p. 952
Translation: Translation team organized by John Riddell
HTML Markup: David Walters & Andy Blunden for the Marxists Internet Archive, 2018
Copyright: John Riddell, 2017. Republished here with permission

Published: in To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921 (, p. 952.]

To the German proletariat

The German bourgeoisie has sentenced the fighters of the March Days to two thousand years in jails and penitentiaries. To that total, they have now added a sentence of life imprisonment against Max Hoelz.

The Communist International is opposed to individual terror and acts of sabotage that do not directly serve the goals of struggle in a civil war. It opposes volunteer contingents operating independently of the political leadership of the revolutionary proletariat. However, the Communist International views Max Hoelz as a courageous rebel against capitalist society, for which reform means reformatories and security means the violent rampages of security forces. His actions were not appropriate. The white terror can be defeated only through an uprising of the workers in their masses, which is the only force that can bring the proletariat to victory. But his actions flowed from love for the proletariat and hatred for the bourgeoisie.

The congress therefore sends Max Hoelz its fraternal greetings and recommends him to the care of the German proletariat. The congress expresses its hope that on the day when the German proletarians break open the gates of his prison, he will fight in the ranks of the Communist Party of Germany for the liberation of German workers.


1. Max Hoelz was a KAPD member who organised an armed workers’ detachment in Saxony during the Kapp Putsch of 1920. During the March struggles of 1921, Hoelz formed an independent guerrilla force that functioned in Central Germany. Hoelz was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. Following an international defence campaign, he was amnestied in 1929.